Finland (Pietarsaari) | Education | norament® 926 arago

Learning languages in an attractive environment

No desks, no classrooms

Pietarsaari Language Immersion School moved in autumn 2020, after the old building had to be abandoned due to indoor air problems. Although the new premises took eight years to build, the long wait was worth it. In keeping with modern trends, open learning environments set the tone for the new school building. Every room is designed with education in mind. Even staircases and corridors offer space for spending time and learning. The school is designed for around 400 pupils, making it the largest primary school in Pietarsaari. The school model is that those children whose native language is Swedish are taught in Finnish, while Finnish-speaking children are taught in Swedish. The lessons begin entirely in the foreign language. Only in later classes does the proportion of the native language increase.

A natural ambience

The new school is an impressive building. Large windows allow plenty of light into the interior and the interior design is dominated by a combination of earthy colours and green elements. The flooring was also designed with a natural aesthetic in mind. The choice was norament 926 arago, a rubber floor covering with an impressive slate look, which was used to great effect. “When selecting the materials for the floor, it quickly became clear that nora was my absolute favourite for the school’s high-traffic areas”, says architect Hilkka-Maija Antila. “The shades of norament 926 arago were a good match for our natural colour palette and we had already seen how durable the rubber flooring was on projects where the floors were subject to heavy use.” more

Acoustic and environmental advantages

As the school has no traditional classrooms and the various learning areas are used as required, good acoustics are of great importance for the indoor spaces. The long-term elasticity of nora rubber floor coverings ensures greater footfall sound absorption than hard floors. This minimises disturbing noise and improves the acoustics.

One reason norament 926 arago was chosen was its extremely dense surface, which ensures robustness and durability. Another decisive factor in the choice of the flooring was the fact that it does not require any coating. “This reduces maintenance costs”, explains Antila. “It also eliminates both the cost of recoating and the time required for everything to be removed from and then returned to the building.”

The decision-makers also took into account climate protection when selecting products. nora rubber floor coverings are CO₂-neutral throughout their entire product life cycle. It is not only individual phases of the life cycle (e. g., the production of the floor covering) that are considered; the installation, the long usage phase and the subsequent recycling are also taken into account. nora voluntarily offsets any emissions that cannot be avoided.

Inlays for customised room design

“Another important point in the selection of the flooring was the opportunity to incorporate the animal inlays we designed into the flooring”, says Antila. “Every inlay depicts Finnish wildlife and they are designed to serve as rallying points in the event of an alarm, for example. The inlays were cut at the nora plant in Weinheim and sent to us ready for installation.”

Pietarsaari Language Immersion School is designed to provide pupils with the best possible preparation for the future. Architecture and education have been combined perfectly to create learning and teaching spaces with a pleasant ambience. nora’s non-hazardous, environmentally friendly, CO₂-neutral rubber floor coverings are the ideal solution to complete this concept.

Data and facts

Building Pietarsaaren kielikylpykoulu (Pietarsaari Language Immersion School), Pietarsaari, Finland
Products norament® 926 arago
Architect Hilkka-Maija Antila, NAC Arkkitehdit Oy, Vaasa, Finland
Installation Year 2020
Photographer Jukka-Pekka Juvonen
Creative space in school with norament flooring


norament® 926 arago

Flat, direction-oriented relief structure with fine granules and modern marbling design for maximum demands. No two tiles are the same – each square meter is totally unique.

More references

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Pupils who learn in a pleasant atmosphere are more creative and productive. For the youngest children in particular, a friendly, inviting ambience is crucial when the serious side of life begins with the start of school. This step can be facilitated by a harmonious interior concept that makes the school not only a place of learning, but also a space of living.

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